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without being melted or broken; 5. The best material is iron with copper below
the surface of the ground, as iron rusts away rapidly in the moist earth. Copper
is the best conductor, but costs more and is not as stiff to withstand the wind.
One-half to five-eighths of an inch in diameter is large enough. Bright points
are not essential, and glass insulators are of no use whatever, as when wet they
are good conductors, and, even if they were not, a small charge even would leap
across the short distance from the rod to the iron staple. The best way to
fasten the joints, is to weld them, which any black-smith can do, passing the
rod through opposite doors of his shop, afterwards dragging it home. If the
building is so high that it can not be readily put up in one piece, the best
joint is made by screwing the two ends firmly into one nut. The points are
easily made by welding several smaller wires to the large one, and filing them
sharp. A rod will protect a space the distance of which is four times the height
of the rod. The cheapest and best support is wood. The only point to be
considered is to secure the rod firmly. The round rods are the best. If there
are iron water-pipes or steam-pipes in the building, they should all be
connected with the lightning rod, or directly with the moist earth, eight or ten
feet below the surface.
THE CISTERN.--An abundant supply of good water is a necessity for every house,
and capacious cisterns are a necessity. Two essential requisites are good
hydraulic lime and clean pure sand. The hydraulic cement becomes in a few months
as hard as sandstone, but the sand must never exceed two parts to one of lime.
The cheapest form of cistern is simply a hole dug in the ground with sides
sloping like those of a narrow-bottomed tub. The water-lime mortar is applied
directly to these sides, the shape of the sides sustaining the mortar until it
hardens. The breadth of such a cistern, if large, makes it difficult to cover,
but this may be done with plank supported by strong scantling, over which should
be placed earth to the depth of the lowest frost. There must be a hole through
the covering, left for cleaning, which should be curbed, and may admit the pump
if the locality is right, or a pipe may go from cistern into cellar below the
frost-line, and thence to the kitchen. The mortar on the walls should never be
less than an inch thick, and they should have at least two coats, and three are
better. As the mortar begins to dry in a very short time after mixing, it is
best to mix the lime and sand dry, and apply water to small quantities at a time
as needed. A more capacious cistern may be made at a greater expense by digging
a hole with perpendicular walls, and laying walls of brick in the form of the
upper half of a barrel, on which to lay the mortar. This form has a smaller top,
and is much more easily covered than the other. The wall should be laid as well
as plastered with water-lime. A filtering attachment is made by building a small
receiving cistern beside the larger one, with filtering apparatus between them,
or a strong wall may be built through the middle of the cistern, receiving the
water in one division and filtering it through into the other.
CONTENTS OF CISTERN.--The following gives the contents of a cistern for each
foot in depth. If the diameter at top and bottom differ, strike the average and
use that as the basis of the estimate:
5 feet diameter 4.66 barrels.8 feet diameter 11.93 barrels.
6 " " 6.71 "9 " " 15.10 "
7 " " 9.13 "10 " " 18.65 "
WEIGHT OF GRAIN.--Wheat 60 pounds in all states except Connecticut, where it is
56; corn 56, except in New York, where it is 58; oats 32; barley 48; buckwheat
46 to 50, but generally 48; clover seed 60, but 64 in Ohio and
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